Nurse as patients

  1. Recently, I had a 5 day vacation at one of the local hospitals. I went to the unit that I previously worked and the staff was aware that I was a nurse who had worked their. Also, I was a personal friend of the nurse manager. The admission day was a Thursday evening. Orders were that I was to use meds as at home with a few other things such as tests and labs. The first night there was an agency nurse and I did not recieve the correct hs meds and she decided to debate the situation. I thought the customer was always right. I was to have neuro checks every four hours. Well in three days they were done that many times. I had to ask for the int to be flushed and that was done every 24. I wonder what would have happened if I hadn't asked. Most of the testing was done on Friday. My primary was off the weekend and "Super doc" the A______H_____. decided since two other docs made recommendations in their progress notes that he would take it on himself to do it. Well, the docs who wrote the progress note didn't do anything about what they wrote. On Sat. am he asked me if I wanted to be dc'd and before I could answer he said maybe you should stay till Monday when your doc gets back. The patient in the other bed had been an OB nurse centuries ago and was quite pleasant to hear of some of her experiences. She was visually impaired and many times the cover wasn't taken off her tray unless I or one of my visitors did it. She was able to eat as she remember using a clock to tell where items were on the tray. She was scheduled to have Nulightly and the staff only came in about every 45 min. If I hadn't sat with her she never would have gotten it.
    Every night but Sunday I didn't get hs meds. Believe me I could write a book at this time. They said they didn't give it as I was catnapping. Well, they signed it as given. I did have my faculties. On Sunday, I had a bs of 169 with a scale starting at 160. I said I was refusing the insulin as I had just had some fruit. This I think happens a lot as patients save things and then the bs is up requiring unnecessary insulin. I was told the doc ordered it and I was to get it once again I told the nurse to circle it and put refused. I have had a gi problem for about 16 years and have been on various antispasmotics. Well "Super doc" told me that Bentyl does not slow peristalsis. Well, it can cause a paralytic ileus so I guess it can. All he did was argue. On Sat. he changed my hs meds and they had to send a maintenance person into the next county to get the med which is quite common. Many of the old standbys are no longer used as they are too costly. I had to have several of mine brought in as they were no longer formulary. One was Nexium.
    The entire weekend my bps were 80s/40s and I was ambulating so that no one could say that I stayed in bed all day. They never called super doc for a bolus of fluid. On Sunday, I asked literally 8 times for a particular med. Each time I asked I gave it the corresponding no of asking. Finally, the charge was in the hall at the med cart and told me the nurse was then calling the doc. Why I asked. This had started at 11am and at 3pm the nurse put in the call. Well, it was one of my meds as at home and was in the med drawer. Stupidity none the less.
    On Monday, when my primary came in I told him of the fiascos and his warm and perfect bedside colleague. I don't think the man had been practicing that long. I said the next time that if he was on and I needed to be in the hospital I would stay at home and die if necessary before having him. Well, I got my release papers and I couldn't get out fast enough.
    I did keep a running list of the errors and things that I saw. Such as someone sitting in an isolation room with no mask or whatever protection tha was needed. The supplies were sitting outside the door and there was a sign to stop at nurse's station. There was a used mask hanging from a med cart.
    I plan on sending a letter to the Vice President of Nursing Services as well as my friend the nurse manager. If this happened to me what would happen to people like my roomate who couldn't question anything.
    So one in all, if you or a special person to you is hospitalized then make sure you keep your eyes, ears, and a PDR handy. Rarely, did I see hands washed.
    I don't think I ever want to be an inpatient anywhere again
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  2. 19 Comments

  3. by   P_RN
    Welcome to "managed care." It's not fun and games out there.

    Who have you told about this? Your doc? Your insurance company? The CEO of the hospital? The newspaper?

    It is HELL out there for hospital nurses...or rather ALL nurses.

    Rules, policies, politics all seem to land on the NURSE's back.....not the doc, not the insurance company, not the CEO and never make it to the newspaper.


    If the staff HAD allowed you to take your 'own' pills and you took something say as a suicide attempt......THEY would be blamed.
    If they didn't cover that blood sugar of 169....THEY would be blamed.

    I am amazed that the insurance even let you IN the hospital much less allowed you to stay.

    The hospital is NOT the place to be if you are sick.....I stayed WITH my hubby this past summer and I can vouch for what you have written. I must say this, what they did....they didn't do well. I did everything else.

    HOWEVER.....the nurse patient ratio was 14 patients per nurse and ALL the RNs were agency nurses the whole time for no more than a day or two at a time each.
  4. by   Tweety
    Where is this hospital and remind me never to go there or send a loved one. Yikes.
  5. by   DIPLOMATICRN4HIRE
    Well Im glad to see you Made it out and ALIVE even with thier help. Can you scream NIGHTMARE. yes it does rhyme with medicare.
    Its not that being a nurse you expect better care that isnt the case, Its the fact that YOU EXPECT CARE TO STANDARDS. Its not like we are talking above and beyond here.
    What happened to you is horrible and if it is accepted or even excused in any way shape or form makes the matter worse because that would be another incident not documented and reported. Its those that allow this crap to contiue whom is responsible for allowing this to become the norm of care.
    There is time in a busy schedule to do care yes its pushed and yes Im screaming at the choir, but this is disgusting. How many times , while you were in the hospital were your rights as a patient violated? Your treatment of your neighbor with the sight problems makes me physically ill. Its scary to think that if you didnt have a clue as to what is going on, how and what would have they done to you.
    When you look over your bill for your stay, check to see how many bags of fluids you were charged for as you lay there with low pressure needing a bolus. The Dr however I feel as If you fired him he still would be clueless. Amazing what they let out of school these days, and they ponder why malpractice insurance is so High.
    I do hope you begin to feel better and I wish you a speedy recovery. If you need anything Please feel free to pm me .
    Zoe
  6. by   canoehead
    When my mom was in the hospital the pts got together to care for each other; one could bend over, one could lift light objects, one could feed her neighbor, one could walk steadily to get things outside the room etc, so they helped each other with meal trays, slippers etc. They all got on the same Q4H pain med schedule so the nurses would bring everyone's meds at once. Very resourceful, but so unfair for them.
  7. by   Enabled
    P_RN, by meds as at home was that I was to recieve the same meds as I take at home provided by the hospital. Those that they no longer carry I had to have come from home and then they went to the hospital pharmacy and identified there and returned to the unit for my use. Unfortunately, I am disabled and on Medicare and Medicaid but that shouldn't have mattered. As far as the insulin is concerned unless I am required to need it outside the hospital I will not take it prematurely.
    Someone in another post mentioned the fact that one has the right to view their own chart. Not here until it goes to med records first giving plenty of time for changes in documentation. Previously, we allowed patients to view the charts but they had to stay at the nurses station with all kinds of forms to be signed along with an order from the doc.
    The hospital is located about an hour south of the Mouse House(Disney World)
    I am taking this to the CEO, Vice President of Nursing and the local newspaper. However, because of having a documented history of clinical depression it will probably be ignored by the members of the hospital. However, they should focus only on the present admission. The nurse patient ratio on days is 6 with 8 on eves and 10 on nights. There is an effort to have two techs on days and the nurses do 12 hour shifts and other ancellary staff have the option of 8 or 12s.
    Yes, I am grateful that I was able to get out in one piece but I still wonder about those who can not speak for themselves. When I worked there on 3 to 11 I usually had anywhere from 7-9 and I made it a point to see that those who were unable to do for themselves were the first to be assisted. Boy, things have really changed in such a short period of time.
    I have been told that if I need ER services to go to this particular facility as you will be seen by a doc with a Mickey Mouse shingle. I have chronic pain syndrom and other facilities in the area have PA-Cs. You don't really have a choice to refuse them and get a doc. That was another horror story.
    In August, I went to the ER and needed something for pain and nausea that I was unable to get control with the prns at home. I ended up having the abdominal assessment started on the left upper quad. I was always taught the right lower is the most normal for a given time period. I am still morbidly obese despite loosing over 150 lbs. I was given Phenergan 12.5 IV and sent home with more pain than I went in with. I just wanted something to take the edge off so I could regroup so to speak. As the PA came into the room and said "Gee, your on a lot of meds
    Most of which are prns or things like Vioxx and Synthroid. I even suggested they call the other facility to prove that I was not a drug seeking idiot.
    I use Duragesic but that should not have mattered. A year prior they gave me Nubain IV which is an antagonist and sent me into narcotic withdrawal. I am beginning to wonder why the ER doc didn't know that or was it done intentionally. I had to be given Ativan 3mg IV push to get into some kind of comfort. The staff kept saying that I was having an anxiety attack. I know my own body as I have been too many times treated incorrectly.
    I now don't say anything about being a nurse until much later in the course of treatment and just have disabled put as an occupation. Funny, even when the staff knows that you are a nurse it doesn't matter to take extra precautions but that seems to be when the precautions go out the window. I have been to an ER for pain management once and the other time I had a medical problem that required IV fluids for dehydration. My pain doc and GI doc said to add Nubain to my list of allergies until I hopefully someday will come off Duragesic. However, you can't go for medical care if you say you can only have morphine for pain. Then you are seen as a drug seeking individual when in fact one tenth of one percent of all chronic nonmalignant pain persons become addicted and that is usually from poor management.
    By the way, I contacted JCAHO about the ER incident and filed a complaint as they ignored the 5th vital sign and actually made a bad problem worse. I had a response within 24 hours. Most of the general public don't know about the 5th vital sign and we need to educate them as well as be their advocates. Apparently, I was not the first to complain about the ER. I was discouraged by family not to complain however, once again I would be branded and my name would be in neon lights as a warning to the ER staff that I was coming. My brother figured I would not get any real care for reporting. Tuff to the facilites
    My sister is also an RN who was permanently injured by a patient. She has a titanium plate in her neck and rsd of the left upper extremity. She has an indwelling pump and gets the same response of "Gee, your on a lot of meds" These things should not be said in front of the patient even if you are aware of it. Immediately, one time she used another ER a similar treatment took place. She was dehydrated and for some unknown reason the doc ordered a straight cath. I am sure that it was done for a tox screen. Or maybe they thought that she came prepared with a urine in order to disguise something or other.
    We also need to make the public aware of reporting agencies to take their actual lack of care issues.
    At this point in time I don't know what facility to go to if I need medical care and that's terrible in and of itself.
  8. by   ANnot4me
    Let me just say that I work in a hospital where the ratios are considered to be OK (just OK is above the standard these days) and some days are really bad. It's all about money and the numbers. It is never OK to be overstaffed, but the bare minimum is acceptable. I am willing to bet real money that your nurses weren't eating bon-bons in the breakroom. I am sorry that this happened to you, but why should anyone treat you any differently than anyone else? The sad truth is that there are no VIPs in this world -- just very rich people.
  9. by   Flo1216
    I don't know....every time we have a nurse or something as an impatient the staff really kisses their butt!!!
  10. by   Flo1216
    Enabled....how do you know that they signed for your meds, even though you didn't get them? Did you see your MAR or did they tell you?
  11. by   Enabled
    Originally posted by chigap
    Let me just say that I work in a hospital where the ratios are considered to be OK (just OK is above the standard these days) and some days are really bad. It's all about money and the numbers. It is never OK to be overstaffed, but the bare minimum is acceptable. I am willing to bet real money that your nurses weren't eating bon-bons in the breakroom. I am sorry that this happened to you, but why should anyone treat you any differently than anyone else? The sad truth is that there are no VIPs in this world -- just very rich people.
    I did not expect to be treated differently but correctly. My fear is for those who don't know the difference. On one day I was given the same med but a different color and the nurse was more or less insulted when I asked for it to be rechecked. This admission wasn't meeting what one might call minimum standards. Lately, the guy who crunches the numbers had a meeting with managers and said that the RNs are milking the overtime. They wouldn't be over if there was enough staff. I suprised the managers didn't have an uprising. Also, during peak times and now when is it not the RNs are paid incentive and the LPNs who work extra are not.

    It wasn't too long ago that an entire unit from the manager down terminated their employment. Some went to even lower salaries but picked up on benefits and have a great pension working for the government in VA clinics.
  12. by   Enabled
    Originally posted by Flo1216
    Enabled....how do you know that they signed for your meds, even though you didn't get them? Did you see your MAR or did they tell you?
    Because of the issues I did go to the nurse manager even though she is a friend and laid it on the line. She pulled the chart and they were signed off and I don't forget too many things especially when a list was made. On the Saturday night half the meds weren't even available. I think I would have called the attending long before the issue came up and ask for a one time order for the previous medications. A reason that was given to me by one of the nurses I had was that she didn't give them because I had dozed off for a bit. I was awake most of the night. I think patients if they are scheduled for sleepers and they want them and if they possibly go to sleep give it at the next waking time as long as it isn't too far into the morning hours.
  13. by   Flo1216
    Our nurses hold the sleeping pills if the pt is already asleep. Why wake a pt up to give them something to help them sleep if they are already asleep? I'm just wondering...I would probably do the same thing(however I would not sign for a med I didn't give, of course)
  14. by   Enabled
    ITSJUSTMEZOE, I am planning on writing a letter to the vice pres of nursing services and the CEO but it will probably be trashed. I got a call about the bill and said I wanted a rebate for getting out alive. They didn't even have the correct information on my insurance which hasn't changed in quite some time and I have been there for labs. etc. If I don't get a response to my letter I have thought about going to the paper as this facility just opened a 50 bed satellite full functioning hospital with the approval of 50 more beds. They can't take care of what they have now.

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